Airdrie motorcycle racer Chad Swain took part in the 2010 Canadian Superbike Championship series event at Race City, running competitively June 26-27 until a mechanical failure forced the rider to the sidelines.
Swain has been competing in the Calgary Motorcycle Road Racing Association and Edmonton Motorcycle Road Racing Association this season, but an annual visit from the Canadian Superbike Championship is an opportunity to run with the best in Canada.
Swain says that a lack of funding and planning hindered his opportunity to compete on the higher performance Superbike class. He competed in the 600cc Pro Sport Bike class races both June 26 and 27.
The first practice session on June 26 saw Swain climb to fifth on the board, but complications while replacing the brakes on the bike prior to qualifying, sent the Airdrie rider looking for another bike to qualify on.
“One of the mechanics was going to change the brake pads, but it wasn’t put together right. I got out on hot pit lane with no brakes,” said Swain.
“We did still need to qualify for the race. A buddy of mine let me borrow (his bike). I qualified with nine minutes left on a 2004 or 2005 bike.”
With a bike set up for another rider, Swain was able to grab a 12th place starting position for both the Saturday and Sunday rounds.
Swain was confident with the quality of workmanship on his bike heading into the first race, but track position was a problem.
“The race went well, I didn’t have a great start though,” said Swain. “When you start on the fourth row, it makes life very difficult having to pass everyone. We were able to pick off enough people to get to seventh at the end.”
The 16-lap pro sports bike race had 15 starters, saw one red flag for a single bike accident and an exciting sprint to the finish with Jordan Szoke from Brantford, Ontario edging Keene, Ontario’s Jodi Christie.
Swain says that had he been able to qualify for the weekend on his own bike, he would have started somewhere on the second row, giving him better track position heading into the first turn.
“I wouldn’t have had to worry about passing so many bikes. I would have focused on catching the quick guys, then work at passing them,” said Swain.
Sunday was a disappointment for him, after the race was stopped for an accident on the track. When the riders were getting ready to restart the event Swain’s fuel pump failed.
“I was up to eighth when the red flags came out,” he said. “We had to pull into the pits because a driver crashed. We got everything ready for the restart, and the fuel pump failed. That was the end of the race for me.”
Swain ended with a Did Not Start (DNS) in 14th spot because his bike was unable to continue. Szoke was able to sweep the pro sport bike wins.
“It was a very disappointing because I was able to work up into a good starting position for the restart,” he said.
Swain will continue to run in the CMRA and EMRA with Toloco Custom Works race team, and hopes to make it out to compete in the Superbike Championships fourth round at Mosport Raceway in Ontario.
“I have not been to that track before, so we have no data on Mosport,” he said. “I think I would be very happy with a top 10.”
Even with a mechanical failure and a brake problem early in the weekend, Swain praised his team for the weekend of work.
“They did a good job this weekend,” he said. “We will always have those mechanical problems, they happen sometimes.”